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For most of us, speaking to a group of people does not come naturally. For some of us, it’s extremely frightening. You can’t let the fear factor beat you. There are ways to conquer it.

Two of the most common fears are the fear of flying and the fear of public speaking. If you’re afraid of speaking in public, you’re not alone. Not being alone, however, doesn’t make you right. The human species is capable of being afraid of just about everything from peanut butter to sex.

Understanding the general causes of your fear is important. Once your brain learns a fear, it’s sometimes difficult to unlearn it. We’re born with the survival mechanism of the “fight or flight” response. The fear may begin early in your life. You’re an intelligent person, and anything you learn, you can unlearn. It does take time and practice, because innate feelings do seem to overrule our thoughts.

Sometimes insecurity is the cause of our fear. There’s something about standing up there, with everyone staring at you that makes us feel emotionally naked. Sometimes, we may have doubts about your ability or knowledge of the material. This is a rational need for worry. This can cause severe anxiety for some.

Strangely enough, reports have discovered that successful, career-minded people are usually more susceptible to the fear of failure. If you are one that is achievement oriented and need to succeed at everything, it can be a terrifying thing.

If there was a pill or instant cure for the fear to speak in public, it would be a very profitable thing for the inventor. There is, unfortunately, no such cure. It’s time to conquer the fear of speaking, and it only takes a small amount of time and practice to conquer it.

Fear is a natural response to a vast number of things. Courage is recognizing that you have a fear and doing the right thing anyway. You have to face your fear in order to conquer it. Here are a few simple things you can do to help:

  • Admit that you have a problem

This is a problem for some, but it’s necessary. You need to try to understand it and have confidence that you have the ability to conquer it.

  • Know your material well

When you do get have to speak, put your best foot forward. Know your material, bee clear on the key points, and be prepared to talk about it.

  • Don’t pressure yourself

You may think the whole world can see how nervous you are, but the truth is that nobody will notice a thing if you stay calm. Remember that half your audience would be just as frightened as you are if they had to speak, and will probably be empathetic.

  • Draw your audience into your presentation

Ignore the feeling that you’re standing up there all alone and everyone is staring at you. Interact with your audience. You’ll instantly feel more comfortable, and so will your audience.

What if your hands start to shake, you mess up, you forget your material, you pass out? The questions are endless. It’s unlikely any of that is going to happen. It’s all in your head. Fear is part of life. We all have them it. Remember the little engine that could. Believe in yourself, and you can face and conquer public speaking fear.

 


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